For as significant as the 2007-08 season was in Pittsburgh Penguins' history, the 2008 draft was fairly forgettable. The organization traded their first three picks in the 2008 draft in three separate trades. All three trades were vital in equipping the Penguins for back-to-back runs to the Stanley Cup Finals, but the most significant was the one which sent their 2008 first round pick, prospect Angelo Esposito, and forwards Colby Armstrong and Erik Christensen to the Atlanta Thrashers for Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis.
Like many teams in the AHL, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are beneficiaries of the ongoing NHL lockout, with several players who would normally be competing for a job in the NHL instead playing in the minors. Despite this flux of NHL caliber talent, the team has struggled all season, particularly on offense, where they rank among the bottom in the league.
Over the past four seasons the Pittsburgh Penguins organization has made a concerted effort to draft quality defensemen and now boasts one of the deepest groups of defensive prospects in the NHL. Their forward depth, while not as impressive as the defense, has also come a long way and now has quality prospects at every position.
Only two years ago an extended run in the NHL post-season was a seeming right of passage for the Pittsburgh Penguins organization and their rabid fanbase. But after two consecutive appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2008 and 2009, the Penguins have experienced dramatic early post-season upsets, the first in 2011 against the Tampa Bay Lightning and most recently in 2012 to the Philadelphia Flyers.